Monday, June 5, 2017

"The Hamburger Cookbook" - Bleu Cheese Burgers - in observance of National Hamburger Day

Date I made this recipe:  May 29, 2017 – the day after National Hamburger Day

The Hamburger Cookbook (paperback) by Ethel Mayer
Published by Ventura Associates
© 1981
Purchased at BCPA (Bloomington Crime Prevention Association) Annual Sale
Recipe:  Bleu Cheese Burgers – p. 64

Well shut the front door, it's National Hamburger Day – hooray!

Once again, yet another "Who knew" food "holiday" was upon us and once again I was prepared with this tiny paperback book – The Hamburger Cookbook.

Lest you think that I can find easily these books when I need them, let me tell you that all my books are catalogued in an Excel and so all I need to do (in theory) is search for some key words like – in this case – "Hamburger" and then I can see what I have.  I think this book with "hamburger" in the title, may have been the only one I have not cooked from yet.  Time to restock!

Although I'm pretty sure that National Hamburger Day is all about burgers in buns, it is not against the law to cook something else with hamburger in it and this book gives us a wide range of options in these categories:
  • Loaves for Loafers – includes meatloaf recipes
  • Case That Casserole – includes hamburger casserole recipes
  • Serve It In One Dish – includes dishes containing hamburger that aren't necessarily casseroles e.g. stuffed tomatoes
  • Shades of the Lord of Sandwich! – includes traditional burgers as well as a couple Sloppy Joe recipes
  • You're in the Dough – includes things like pasties and meat dumplings
  • Department of Interior Surprises – includes recipes for things stuffed with burgers and burgers stuffed with things!
  • Soup's On – includes soups that contain hamburger
  • Meat Balls Galore – includes meatball recipes
  • Lamburgers – apparently, lamb rates its own chapter!
 I must say that I chuckled at the inclusion of lamburgers because lamb isn't exactly ground hamburger, now is it?

After considering, briefly, going all rogue and making something other than a hamburger, I stuck to the script and made these yummy Bleu Cheese Burgers.  We love blue cheese in this house and so it seemed pretty fitting.

This turned out to be a great choice for National Hamburger Day but I must say that once again, the cooking instructions gave us pause because we weren't sure if we were to stuff this burger with the cheese or not; you'll see why below.  Andy decided on "or not" and so he broiled as directed and they were very yummy.   We also cut the recipe in half as is usual and customary and ended up with 4 good-sized burgers instead of 6; a full recipe makes 12.

This then, concludes our observance of National Hamburger Day with one confession and that is that we made them the day after National Hamburger Day.  I know, right?  The thing is though, the next day was Memorial Day and so why not make a picnic out of it?  So we did and so check my blog for two side dish posts, one for baked beans and the other for a macaroni salad.


Bleu Cheese Burgers – yield 12 half buns, or 2 portions per person
1 pound ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped very fine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon Accent
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
¼ cup tomato sauce or ¼ cup chili sauce
6 hamburger buns
6 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
½ cup Bleu cheese mixed in ½ cup mayonnaise

Mix the ground meat, onion, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, Accent, mustard and tomato/chili sauce very thoroughly.  Set aside to allow the flavors to blend.  This meat mixture can be made several hours before serving, or even the day before.

Butter the hamburger bun halves and place under the broiler until they are toasted a golden brown.

Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the cheese and mayonnaise mixture in the center of each bun half.  Form the meat into ½" thick patties the size of the buns; place the meat patty over the Bleu cheese mixture.  Press the edges of each patty so that the cheese mixture is completely sealed inside.  Put under the broiler for 15 minutes, or until the meat is completely browned.  Serve piping hot.  Ann's Note:  What you're basically making here is an open-face sandwich.  The burgers are not stuffed but rather, the burger patty is stretched to the edge of the bun so as to seal in the bleu cheese and mayo mixture.  It took us a minute to figure this out during which time, I ranted once again about confusing cooking instructions!  I also questioned the 15 minute broiling time but when you think of it, stuffed burgers, like Minnesota's famous Jucy Lucy[1], are cooked longer so that you don't end up with raw burger surrounding the napalm melted cheese inside.

This will yield 12 half buns, or 2 portions per person.

[1] A Jucy Lucy is a burger that is stuffed with cheese.  Depending on who you ask, it originated at either Matt's Bar or the 5-8 Club, both located in Minneapolis.  It is an awesome thing to eat but do be careful because the cheese is really, really hot, such that you are warned to let it cool or suffer the consequences!

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